Cross Country Skis & Cross Country Skiing Equipment
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What to Consider With Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing, also known as Nordic skiing, is one of the oldest winter sports in the world. Its popularity is down to the ability to explore nature, stay active or race competitively. Different from alpine skiing, you are attached to the skis at the toe piece, but the heel can move freely up and down to let you make a natural walking or running motion.
Classic, Skating and Backcountry are the 3 styles that have their own individual design and technique. Cross country ski boots and cross country ski bindings are also divided into 3 categories to match the styles. Other cross country ski equipment that you should have are poles, glide wax, kick wax (if waxable) and ski clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. The summer equivalent to cross country skiing is roller skiing. It has the same classic and skate style and is a great way to train on the asphalt in the warmer months.
What Type of Cross country skis Should I Buy?
Classic Cross country skis
The skis are long, narrow and have an area in the middle of the skis (kick zone) that grip the snow by the use of wax, mohair or fishscales. The skis are primarily kept on groomed tracks that are not much wider than the actual skis, and a forwards walking motion is used to glide along the track. A classic cross-country ski should be around 20-25 cm longer than the skiers total height.
Skating Cross country skis
The skating skis are shorter than classic skis as they need to be more agile and lighter. The skating motion means that the skiers push diagonally on the edges of the skis to move forwards. There is only a glide zone on skate skis, as the skating technique replaces the need for a kick zone. Skate cross-country ski should be around 10 - 15 cm longer than the skiers total height.
Backcountry Cross country skis
These skis are heavier and wider than the two other kinds because they are suited for experienced skiers who prefer trips in deeper, ungroomed snow. The design of the skis often come with steel edges making them very durable for the rougher environments. Backcountry cross-country ski should be around 15 - 25 cm longer than the skiers total height.
If you would like to get more details and info on the different types of cross country skis then you can check out our guide - Buying Cross country skis.